Avengers: Endgame (**)
By Jon Waterman
Summary – The Avengers, or what’s left of them, are regrouping so they can chase after Thanos and attempt to get the infinity gauntlet back. They were beaten last time, and now that their numbers are fewer, the odds are longer, but maybe they can find a secret weapon to take him down. [Alright, so my summary only really covers the first ten minutes of the movie and I’m going to try to talk in generic terms for the rest of the review here to maintain any surprises (even though virtually the whole world will have seen it already anyway).]
No Spoilers – Just to get it out of the way, you should not attempt to watch this movie without first seeing at least “Avengers: Infinity War.” It is very much a direct sequel and gets right into the action. However, you know how “Return of the Jedi” isn’t as good as “Empire Strikes Back?” I think the anticipation of the conclusion was better than the actually watching the end of the story. Still, I liked that there was a significant plot twist very early on.
Would You Like To Play A Game? – The movie sits at three hours long and I think I know the perfect way to cut out some of that running time. Don’t try to make this a comedy first and an action movie second. There are several scenes that are dragged out, or simply exist at all, for laughs. All the stuff with the cell phone camera. The smashing things in the street part. The Fortnite thing they wedged in there. And so on. They hammered the fat jokes over and over and over for one character and seemed to go out of their way to do so when they should have been concerned with trimming the fat of their own movie. I think I also could have done without the drawn-out ending(s). I can understand wanting to give so much individualized closure, but boy did it drag.
End Zone – The climactic action scenes at the end were still fun, but it felt like a lot more of the same. There were some fun 3-on-1 fights where you see how all the powers can be combined and complemented, or counteracted, and that was great, but not enough heroes got to show what they could do. Honestly, it felt a lot like repeated history and we were watching a lot of what we saw in the last movie’s action scenes.
Biggest Standout – Seeing (or hearing) how many people found the movie to be emotional. Without giving anything away, there were some quiet parts where I could clearly hear sniffles.
Biggest Disappointment – Am I crazy to say that I wanted more carnage? I expected a lot more sniffle opportunities and moments than what we got. Maybe most will see that as a positive, but not me.
Is It Worth Watching Again? – I’m curious to see where things go from here, but I don’t care enough to come back to this particular movie. The main plot here felt like it would have been a side-plot in a better movie. They did a pretty good job balancing the characters and their stories, but the things those characters did was all about fan service and yet I didn’t feel served.
Running Time: 181 min
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo